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On the term...

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  • On the term...

    I'm not one to uphold any orthodoxy on genre or generic labels, but what are some of the classic titles and authors that come to mind when people see the term cyberpunk? Gibson and Sterling are the two authors that come most immediately to mind, particularly Burning Chrome.

  • #2
    The Sprawl trilogy (Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive)
    An anthology called "Mirrorshades" that Sterling edited.
    Arguably "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep"
    Best/Mario

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    • #3
      Synners by Pat Cadigan ('The Queen of Cyberpunk'). Also her collections of short stories.

      There's also Dr. Adder by K.W. Jeter. This book prefigured all the body modification stuff that cyberpunk was so keen on by decades. Written in 1972 and championed by Philip K. Dick, it was not actually publishd until 1984; in fact I believe it was only published due to the success of Neuromancer. It is a very perverse and violent book (in fact, it has been called 'splatterpunk'), but a truly excellent one. There is a very strong argument to be had for it being the first true Cyberpunk novel.
      Last edited by johneffay; 06-28-2006, 04:30 AM.

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      • #4
        Haven't read it - still have a stack of William Gibson novels (signed no less) sitting on shelves waiting to be read (one day) - but Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson often gets mentioned in the same breath as Neuromancer and Mirrorshades. Don't know whether it's any good though.
        _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
        _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
        _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
        _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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        • #5
          Originally posted by David Mosley
          Haven't read it - still have a stack of William Gibson novels (signed no less) sitting on shelves waiting to be read (one day) - but Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson often gets mentioned in the same breath as Neuromancer and Mirrorshades. Don't know whether it's any good though.
          Snow Crash is an interesting book, but falls apart in the end. It's not exactly cyberpunk, either, except in surface details (one of the major plot points is a psycho/neurological technique from ancient Babylon)
          Best/Mario

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mario
            Snow Crash is an interesting book, but falls apart in the end. It's not exactly cyberpunk, either, except in surface details (one of the major plot points is a psycho/neurological technique from ancient Babylon)
            It's sort of second generation cyberpunk with Stephenson using several tropes developed by Gibson. I agree that it falls apart at the end, just like all Stephenson's books, but it's got some great stuff in it and is far superior to the dreary historical stuff that Stephenson is banging out now.

            Also, it has one of my favourite openings of all time. David, if you're never going to read it, you should head down to your local bookshop, read the first ten pages, and see if you can work out what the Deliverator does before Stephenson tells you...

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            • #7
              My favorite bit?

              "Jack the sound barrier... bring the noise"
              Best/Mario

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              • #8
                I've seen Howie Chaykin mentioned along with the classic cyberpunk names, though of course his work predates the cyberpunk period.
                "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER

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                • #9
                  I did a university dissertation on William Gibson's stuff.

                  If anyone's interested here are a couple books worth looking up:

                  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/076...lance&n=283155

                  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/082...lance&n=283155
                  Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

                  Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

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                  • #10
                    Thanks, Devilchicken! I've seen the Mcaffery book, but the other was new to me.

                    A dissertation on Gibson? Any findings you care to share? I imagine it would be quite interesting.

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                    • #11
                      That book is actually very interesting - its actually more of a social studies text that looks the social implications of advanced technologies.

                      My dissertation was on the treatment of technology in Gibsons books and how it relates to concepts of individual identity and freedom.

                      Basically on one side - how the body is 'meat' and whether or not cosmetic surgery, replacement organs, implants, personality constructs, artificial intelligences change the human experience.

                      On the other side it was about the dystopian nature of the books - how technologies that supposedly grant greater freedom of expression and individuality are ultimately used repressively.
                      Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

                      Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Your dissertation sounds interesting, devilchicken. I like reading work that examines the human experience from a vantage point that is a bit different from my own (sociological) background.

                        Not that I have an enormous amount of time on my hands, but is it catalogued through UMI?

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                        • #13
                          Doubtful - I finished my degree in 1999 in the UK. The internet had just started to take off commercially over there, so they didn't have much in the way of electronic cataloguing or a documentation library.

                          I don't even think I have the hardcopy anymore, if I do it will be at my parents house in the UK - assuming they've not tossed it out.

                          Pity - I was quite proud of it at the time. But you should definitely check out that book - its well worth a look. I even bought it after I finished the course.
                          Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

                          Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Cyberpunk is interesting philosophically - that passage in Neuromancer where Case is talking to the personality 'construct' about whether or not he is 'alive' in the strict sense. Magic!
                            Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

                            Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by devilchicken
                              I finished my degree in 1999
                              Where did you do it and what department were you in?

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